City of Steamboat Springs wants your feedback on the future of Howelsen Hill | SteamboatToday.com

City of Steamboat Springs wants your feedback on the future of Howelsen Hill

Dwain Carnes and Peyton

— Anyone who has something to say about the future of Howelsen Hill should plan to be at Olympian Hall on Thursday night.

The city of Steamboat Springs is about to host the first in a series of public meetings to discuss a new master plan for Howelsen and its wide range of amenities.

The city also soon will conduct a survey to gauge what the community thinks is working there, and what could be improved.

“We want as much public input as we can get in this first public meeting,” Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department Director John Overstreet said. “It is apparent the public loves this park, from its trails and open space to the ice arena and the ballfields. We just really want to find out what people would like to see in the future.”

In recent weeks, Overstreet has sought feedback from about 30 groups that use the park. They range from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to equestrians to those involved with the summer rodeos.

Overstreet said park users and the public already have offered several ideas for Howelsen’s future.

“It’s been from a second sheet of outdoor ice to putting down synthetic turf on the ballfields so there’s more play for locals on each end of the season,” he said. “There’s a lot of different ideas out there. All of them are good, but I think it’s really advantageous while it’s all going on to take these ideas out to the public and see what they think.”

Thursday night’s public meeting will be the first in a series that will be held this summer, Overstreet said.

Future meeting dates will be announced soon.

The city is aiming to give a presentation to the Steamboat Springs City Council about the future of Howelsen later this summer.

“What has been great is most, if not all, of the groups who use the park have been global in their thinking process,” Overstreet said. “They’re not just thinking of their own areas of expertise, but of the park as a whole. This is a central downtown park, and wow, what an amenity for the whole city. How can we make it better? How can it be used in a better way?”

While there have been recent master plans for the rodeo grounds and other parts of the park, the last comprehensive master plan done for all of Howelsen was completed in the 1990s.

What do you think about Howelsen Hill and its future? Leave a comment below.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10